You probably get a lot of cool ideas, thoughts that juice you up and feel Just Right for you and your circumstance. I am willing to bet you typically write down the idea, talk about it with friends, think about it for a few days, then.... nothing. You forget about it or it loses its lustre. You move on. You probably have a mental shelf full of never-wases and could-have-beens, ideas that sparkled for a short while but never made it.
The idea is a seed. You need to plant it and germinate it before it's too late. If you don't - if you leave the seed on the shelf - it will start to lose its life and take rot. An idea not acted upon will seem dull two weeks later.
Whenever you feel juiced up by a brilliant new idea, immediately open a text file and dump everything you can think.of pertaining to that idea. Pack that initial inspiration into solid ground.
Paradoxically, this will rob you of that initial juice. You will feel "meh" about the idea for a little while. BUT... and this is big, you now have germinated the seed and over the coming weeks you will notice it growing. You will receive more and more inspiration and follow-on ideas and your text file will fill up. People will start suggesting things you could add.
This is when you go public with your idea and start saying self-concept building things like "I am currently writing a book / programming an app / starting a blog / etc". Because it will be true then, and it will fuel you.
And soon enough, your seed will be a stout oak.
(Btw, I followed my own advice with this post. Written and posted in 15 minutes upon having the idea.)
So very true. I usually dream and wake up with brilliant ideas, but by the time i've showered, sorted out my toddler's breakfast and sit down in front of my laptop its a very vague fragment of what i had originally thought was fantastic. I for the most part, do write things down once i'm inspired and that too, sometimes because of no action will become null and void after a few days or weeks. I think my ideas and inventions are excellent until i sit on them, then they're the silliest ideas ever!
Might I recommend: a face and a name. Rarely* do we connect with any of the arts (writing, painting and so forth) without a personality and a face attached to them.
*Certain cases do apply such as Banksy.
Oh, and I need to apply it to an idea I got yesterday: a zombie survival novel set in southern Sweden and Copenhagen. Pretty cool to write about the living dead when you can relate to all the street names :)
If I don't start the text file, though, I will have moved on in two weeks, almost guaranteed.
Great questions by Frank -
Second, we didn’t evolve in the modern environment, and our brains aren’t necessarily equipped for big potential gains down the road. If there’s a 5 step process that produces really good results at the end of step 5, a lot of times we won’t think past step 1.
What do you find is the best way to get past this lack of being able to see long-term goals from short-term micro-steps? Specifically, in my case, I have several (potentially) lucrative projects where I've written up an entire idea on paper, thought about starting the implementation of it for a few weeks, but never actually went anywhere with them months later. I work full-time, so these projects are all on the side - and for me, that's what the biggest problem is. All of my energy is spent at my day job, so that by the time I get to these what could be hugely profitable projects, I'm all out of steam. Any ideas as to what I could do to gain more motivation, aside from leaving my day job?
There's a lot of density here. I see four really good questions here -
1. What do you find is the best way to get past this lack of being able to see long-term goals from short-term micro-steps?
"It just happened. Just like that. You know, one day I just had enough. No more! I haven't smoked a cigarette since then. That was three years ago."
Yeah, well, except it didn't happen just like that.
Here's how I think change really happens... and it's the same pattern that occurs all across the universe when anything new happens:
An idea is had. A heretic thought. Some inkling, some hint that maybe everything isn't as you thought it were.
It looks harmless at first. It's just an acorn of an idea. An acorn that will grow into a majestic oak that tears through concrete foundations.